• Authors: Annika Ballin, Maria Kaminski / 2022

    Inks and pastes – in search of the optimum formulation

    May 16, 2022

    Portrait: Sindy Mosch.

    Whether it is precious metal ink for a drug test kit, ceramic screen-printing paste for high-tech sensors or glass solder paste for the airtight joining of ceramic fuel cells – Dr. Sindy Mosch and her team develop the right functional layer for every application. “A versatile and exciting job”, says the materials scientist.

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  • Authors: Kathrin Reinhardt, Martin Ihle, Paul Gierth | Translation: Stephanie Anderseck / 2022

    Printed electronics for highest frequencies: 6G wireless communication technology and millimeter wave radar

    May 10, 2022

    Wideband 140 GHz Vivaldi antenna with 50 µm thin LTCC membrane for antenna wing.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Mobile communication technology is less than 25 years old and has already taken several decisive steps in its development. But for applications such as autonomous driving, much higher data rates are needed. The global goal is to increase the data rate from 20 gigabits per second at a latency of 1 millisecond (5G) to a full 1 terabit per second at a latency of just 0.1 millisecond (6G) by 2030. Ceramic substrate materials and adapted thick-film pastes and inks can make a significant contribution here.

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  • Translation: Stephanie Anderseck / 2022

    Additive glass shaping improves selectivity of photomultipliers

    April 20, 2022

    Additively manufactured photomultiplier with optimized geometry helps to increase intensity and low noise.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Photomultipliers are, for example, used in food production or medical laboratories to detect the tiniest impurities in brewer's yeast or tiny genetic fragments in blood samples. These are ultra-precise detectors that can capture and reliably measure light effects of very low intensity. In order for these optoelectronic sensors to be used much more widely in the future, the measurement technology company ProxiVision and engineers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS have jointly developed additively manufactured photomultipliers. This will allow the sensors to be adapted quickly and flexibly to ever new application scenarios.

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  • Author: Hilde-Josephine Post | Translation: Stephanie Anderseck / 2022

    How zeolite membranes energy-efficiently dewater organic solvents

    March 18, 2022

    Due to their modular design, zeolite membranes can also be flexibly integrated into existing drying plants.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    High economic and environmental benefits arise when zeolite membranes are used to dewater organic material streams. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS have tested and validated this in pilot trials for indirect natural gas drying and alcohol recirculation. Many plant operators can now benefit from this, whether from the natural gas, pharmaceutical, chemical or food industries.

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  • Author: Maria Kaminski / 2021

    PROTOTYPING – Virtual optimization of piezo system solutions

    November 24, 2021

    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Piezo system solutions are suitable for a variety of sensory applications in the field of medical technology, ultrasonic generation or even in non-destructive material testing. The manufacturing process is complex and can lead to destruction of the component in case of unsuitable component design or errors in the poling process. For this reason, Fraunhofer IKTS specializes in various prototyping processes: The advantage: time and resources are reduced to a minimum by computer-aided methods, while at the same time optimizing the product properties.

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  • Almost everyone has one: individually printed coffee cups. In the graphics sector, screen printing on round surfaces is firmly established, but in the electronics sector, it has so far only been a niche application. However, tubular screen printing and other new printing technologies, such as dispense jetting, promise significant increases in efficiency. Using optimally coordinated printing processes, thick-film pastes and ceramic substrates, researchers at Fraunhofer IKTS are printing highly efficient miniaturized heaters and sensors onto tubes and 3D-printed components, thus enabling completely new product possibilities for a wide range of applications. In doing so, IKTS is open to companies that want to use these technologies to significantly expand the functionality of their own products.

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  • Author: Andrea Gaal / 2021

    Learning by ear – Self-learning monitoring of compressors

    October 13, 2021

    Compressors drive a wide variety of machines and are therefore an important component in industrial production. In the CompWatch project, self-learning systems are developed that monitor the compressors permanently via their operating noise and thus enable event-driven maintenance.
    © Hiren Lathiya |

    They are used to operate heat pumps and jackhammers, fill car tires with air, clean surfaces, or for saliva suction in dentistry – the areas of application for compressors are manifold. A compressor compresses gas using mechanical force, thus increasing the pressure. The resulting energy is released when the pressure is discharged and can be used to drive tools and machines. This makes compressors an indispensable part of industrial production.

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  • Authors: Annika Ballin | Maria Kaminski / 2021

    Vertical farming at ceramics institute

    September 22, 2021

    Nico Domurath talks about Vertical Farming and how we can use ceramic technologies to make plant cultivation - especially in controlled growing systems like greenhouses - more sustainable and resource-efficient.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Pink light shines in the technical center of Fraunhofer IKTS in Dresden. Where otherwise plants for water filtration, fuel cells or 3D printing machines are located, small plants have recently started to grow on several floors. "With our vertical farming test stand, we are testing how we can use ceramic technologies to make plant cultivation – especially in controlled cultivation systems such as greenhouses – more sustainable and resource-efficient", explains Nico Domurath, plant cultivation expert at Fraunhofer IKTS. "We want to think holistically about the three major issues of food, water and energy and leverage synergies, close loops and make optimal use of residual materials by intelligently coupling processes", Domurath continues. Why is this important?

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  • Ceramic 19-channel membran with matching, specially designed housing as an example of an industrially relevant tube geometry.
    © Fraunhofer IKTS

    Used correctly, modern membrane technologies can treat polluted industrial wastewater better than classical treatment technologies alone can. Our Membrane Technology Application Center in Schmalkalden operates at the interface between science and industry. Fraunhofer IKTS operates more than 20 laboratory and pilot plants on an area of around 370 m², which have been specially designed for specific application scenarios. Here, new membrane prototypes are characterized, effective cleaning strategies are developed, and feasibility studies and field tests are carried out for industrial customers and research partners.

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  • Sewage pipe.
    © Thomas Hoang |

    With the right purification and treatment technologies, wastewater can be a valuable resource: whether for thermal energy, strategic raw materials or treated as valuable drinking or industrial water. Our application centers for electrochemical water treatment show how this can work. Spread over five locations, Fraunhofer IKTS develops, analyzes and tests new ways to acidic water and closed material cycles.

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